[Tex/LaTex] What would you like to change about TeX/LaTeX/XeTeX/etc.


Like the title says, is there anything about the system you're using that you would like to change? Some annoyance that should be fixed, some feature that could be improved or added?

Best Answer

One area of TeX which needs to be improved is math spacing (starting from 2007, Word does better than TeX in this area). The TeXbook (in chapter 18) recommends quite a few manual adjustments most which could (and thus should) be automated (and the list is not complete). Here are a few examples, with the correct spacing below (the cos²+sin² is a bit subtle as it’s a thin space instead of a medium space, but it is an important change since it also changes the shrinking and stretching values):

examples of bad math spacing by TeX

The problem is that the 8 spacing classes (\mathord, \mathop, \mathbin, \mathrel, \mathopen, \mathclose, \mathpunct and \mathinner) are not enough to cover all the cases. You would need at least the following supplementary classes: \mathnull (no spacing at all, for / and the backslash used as quotient), \mathfact (for factorials), \mathsqrt (for square roots) \mathdiff (for differentials in integrals) and \mathdpunct (for double punctuation like : and ; in French typography, in which you want a thin space both after and before).

Related Question